OLD APPS DIE HARD

These are the most popular Android apps of all time

Even though it’s tried and failed (a few times) to own Android users’ mobile experience, Facebook is still pretty much the king of Google’s mobile operating system.

In a report released today, app analytics firm AppAnnie compiled lists of the top 10 games and apps of all time on the Google Play Store, ranking them both by the number of times they’ve been downloaded, and the amount of revenue they’ve generated. Facebook, AppAnnie found, has four of the top 10 most-downloaded apps of all time on Android.

Although the number of Android users is steadily growing (so apps that have been available longer have a greater chance of being downloaded more often), it’s interesting to note that the newest app in any of these charts was released over two years ago, in March 2014.

(It’s worth noting that AppAnnie left Google’s top apps out of its research—such as Google search, Maps, Music, and Gmail—as these come preinstalled on the vast majority of Android phones sold each year, and would’ve skewed the results.)

Here are the lists:

Most-downloaded apps of all time

App First released Company Country
Facebook Dec-11 Facebook USA
WhatsApp Jan-12 Facebook USA
Facebook Messenger Nov-11 Facebook USA
Instagram Mar-12 Facebook USA
Clean Master Sep-12 Cheetah Mobile China
Skype Nov-11 Microsoft USA
LINE Jan-12 LINE Japan
Viber Oct-11 Rakuten Japan
Twitter Nov-11 Twitter USA
Flashlight by Surpax Jan-12 Surpax USA

Facebook absolutely dominated this chart, grabbing the top four spots, and it seems that just about everyone is using their Android devices, seeing as seven of the most-downloaded apps provide some sort of messaging service—eight, if you include Instagram’s ancillary direct-messaging function. It’s also worth noting that it seems many people are trying to add on one key feature missing on a lot of Android phones—a flashlight.

Top apps of all time by revenue

App First released Company Country
LINE Jan-12 LINE Japan
LINE PLAY Nov-12 LINE Japan
LINE Manga Apr-13 LINE Japan
Pandora Radio Jan-12 Pandora USA
KakaoTalk Jan-12 Daum Kakao South Korea
GREE Jan-12 GREE Japan
Pokemini May-13 Cocone Japan
Dragon Quest X Adventurer’s Convenient Outing Tool Jun-13 Square Enix Japan
LOVOO Dec-11 LOVOO Germany
Tinder Jul-13 IAC USA

Facebook might have the most downloads of any company on the Google Play Store, but it’s Japanese messaging company LINE that has the top-grossing apps. The revenue list includes six Japanese companies, and is full of gaming apps that rely on the “freemium” model—where the game itself is free to download, but add-ons and methods to advance in the game cost money. Rounding out the list are two dating apps, suggesting some Android owners are totally willing to pay to find love, while on the go.

Most-downloaded games of all time

App First released Company Country
Subway Surfers Sep-12 Kiloo Denmark
Candy Crush Saga Nov-12 Activision Blizzard United States
Pou Aug-12 Zakeh Lebanon
Temple Run 2 Jan-13 Imangi, iDream Sky USA, China
Hill Climb Racing Sep-12 Fingersoft Finland
My Talking Tom Nov-13 Outfit7 Cyprus
Despicable Me Jun-13 Gameloft France
Angry Birds Dec-11 Rovio Finland
Fruit Ninja Feb-11 Halfbrick Australia
Clash of Clans Sep-13 Supercell Finland

You’ve undoubtedly heard of some of these, and probably have a few on your phone. Unlike the app charts, dominated by the US and Japan, the most popular games almost all come from Europe. Scandinavia has fared particularly well, with Finland producing three of the most downloaded games of all time, and Denmark produced Subway Surfers, a mass-transit-inspired reaction game, released right after the original version of Temple Run.

Top games of all time by revenue

App First released Company Country
Puzzle & Dragons Sep-12 GungHo Online Japan
Clash of Clans Sep-13 Supercell Finland
Monster Strike Dec-13 Mixi Japan
Candy Crush Saga Nov-12 Activision Blizzard USA
Game of War – Fire Age Mar-14 Machine Zone USA
Everybody’s Marble Jun-13 Netmarble, LINE South Korea, Japan
Disney Tsum Tsum Jan-14 LINE Japan
Summoners War Apr-14 GAMEVIL South Korea
Hay Day Nov-13 Supercell Finland
The World of Mystic Wiz Mar-13 COLOPL, Sony Japan

That same freemium model that popped up in the app revenue chart is all over the top-grossing games chart. Most of these games are simple to play, addictive, and once the game makers have players hooked, they offer power-ups, ways to progress through the game more quickly, and rewards—for a small fee—to entice players to improve their experience. Add those small fees up, and you have a business model.

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